The City over-relies on property taxes, extracted from you, to finance its projects and services. Additionally it over-relies on Land Transfer Tax, collected on housing sales, creating an unsustainable situation where the City's ability to finance itself is predicated on housing remaining expensive.
The City needs to start making investments. I don't mean that in the figurative sense, I mean the City needs to get into the real estate game. There is tremendous potential to take the financial burden off the taxpayer by developing and leasing commercial real estate on municipal property.
As Councillor I will table a motion to create an Office of Investment Management to manage the City's investment portfolio, and instruct them to start developing the portfolio by leasing space in TTC stations. Subway station concourses are some of the highest-trafficked parts of the city and are under-utilized as economically productive places. Currently most of them have no commercial tenants beyond a small convenience store. In much of the world this is not how it's done - major interchange stations in many cities in Europe and Asia have coffee shops, pubs, takeout spots, retailers - many businesses to cater to the thousands of paying customers that walk through the station every single day.
Once the ball is rolling with retail leases the real work begins - office development, built on top of the station building. These are single-story, single-purpose structures on some of the city's most valuable and economically useful spaces. Again, this is a missed opportunity. The City must build the towers, lease the space within them, and collect the rent so that you the taxpayer can shoulder less of the burden.